Europe

Jennifer Jones speaks on UK Boycott Return To Unsafe Schools campaign

By Tom Pearce, 15 July 2020

The Facebook site of the group has created a map of school closures due to outbreaks, which is a powerful source of information for parents.

German state intelligence agency deletes data of right-wing extremists

By Christoph Vandreier, 15 July 2020

There are close links between Germany’s secret services, its government and the right-wing extremist milieu not only in Saxony, but throughout the country.

German Green Party programme: Police-state repression and militarism

By Max Linhof and Jan Ritter, 15 July 2020

Germany’s Green Party presented a draft party programme in Berlin on 26 June entitled “To care and protect ...”

Germany halts preliminary proceedings on 1980 Oktoberfest attack

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 15 July 2020

The intention is to keep the public in the dark forever on the background to the killings and the people behind it, especially the role of the security services.

Protests erupt in Serbia over official handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Alex Lantier, 15 July 2020

A week of protests has followed President Aleksandar Vučić’s announcement that a curfew would be re-imposed in Serbia amid a rapid resurgence of COVID-19.

COVID-19 outbreaks escalate across England

By Thomas Scripps, 14 July 2020

Workers have been raising safety concerns for months, but have been smothered by the continued inaction of government agencies and local politicians.

Pandemic and Tory government measures having brutal impact on London’s disadvantaged young people

By Harvey Thompson and Charlotte Salthill, 14 July 2020

The report notes, “Families who were already enduring hard, challenging lives have had to survive lockdown in the most appalling circumstances.”

Tens of thousands protest in Russia’s far east after Kremlin removes governor

By Clara Weiss, 14 July 2020

Governor Furgal of the far-right LDPR was arrested by the FSB and charged with involvement in the murder of multiple businessmen.

Merkel in Brussels: Profits before lives and European great power politics

By Johannes Stern, 13 July 2020

The message was clear: despite the massive increase in infections and deaths, there would be no new lockdown.

US Catholic Church received at least $1.4 billion through “small business” loan program

By Jacob Crosse, 13 July 2020

Special provisions in the CARES Act as well as executive exceptions allowed the largest religious organization in the world to receive government funds.

Greek government passes draconian anti-protest legislation

By John Vassilopoulos, 13 July 2020

The Bill was voted into law after thousands of workers protested in Athens and throughout Greece.

Bereaved family members march on Downing Street to demand UK COVID-19 inquiry

By Robert Stevens, 13 July 2020

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice UK have set up a petition calling for an “immediate inquiry” that has been signed by over 154,000 people.

French trade unions agree to attacks on healthcare system amid coronavirus pandemic

By Will Morrow, 13 July 2020

As far as the capitalist class is concerned, if more workers die, particularly elderly workers no longer able to produce profits for employers, this can be a positive good.

Far-right Vox party to launch fascist trade union in Spain

By Alejandro López, 13 July 2020

Vox intends to exploit the reactionary role played by Spain’s main unions, which support the austerity policies of the ruling Podemos and Socialist parties.

Humboldt University student parliament condemns radical right-wing Professor Baberowski

By Helmut van Heiken, 13 July 2020

The representatives of over 30,000 students demanded that the university administration end its support for Baberowski and that he face consequences for threatening and assaulting students.

Restricted access to Grenfell inquiry for survivors and bereaved

By Alice Summers, 11 July 2020

The inquiry restarted after a three-month delay amid widespread outrage from survivors and the bereaved over further proposed delays.

German multinational BMW to slash 16,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 11 July 2020

BMW is using the coronavirus pandemic and relying on the trade unions to implement long-worked out plans to restructure and destroy jobs.

Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei condemns right-wing terror against Left Party parliamentarian

By Ulrich Rippert (SGP national secretary), 11 July 2020

Janine Wissler, chairwoman of the Hesse state parliamentary faction of the Left Party, has repeatedly received email death threats.

Spain imposes regional lockdowns amid resurgence of COVID-19

By Alice Summers, 10 July 2020

After ending the national lockdown, the Podemos-PSOE government is rejecting a coordinated response, leaving regional authorities with managing outbreaks.

Chancellor Sunak announces end of UK jobs furlough and rolls out cheap labour scheme

By Robert Stevens, 10 July 2020

Sunak’s declaration that “we can’t protect every job” is the understatement of the century. Companies are announcing thousands of redundancies every day amid warnings of unemployment reaching 5 million by next year.

French-backed security forces in the Sahel guilty of mass extrajudicial executions

By Will Morrow, 10 July 2020

The report exposes the Franco-German-led war as a neo-colonial intervention to subjugate the resource-rich and geo-strategically critical region and its population.

The collapse of the New York Times’ “Russian bounties” campaign

By Patrick Martin, 10 July 2020

Less than two weeks after it kicked off a media frenzy, the Times published an editorial effectively conceding that there was no factual basis for its reporting that Russian military intelligence had paid bounties to Taliban fighters to kill American soldiers.

Massive neo-Nazi penetration of German military and police

By Jordan Shilton, 10 July 2020

There are growing fears in the German government of preparations for a right-wing putsch.

Germany: Automaker Opel cuts company pensions

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2020

W ith the help of the IG Metall union, management is passing on the costs of the coronavirus pandemic, e-mobility and digitalization to the workers.

After police killing of Badreddin Abadlla Adam

More evidence of ill-treatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow hotels

By Steve James, 9 July 2020

Two weeks after the police killing of 28-year-old Sudanese man Badreddin Abadlla Adam, asylum seekers in Glasgow continue to face appalling conditions.

British government’s token arts rescue package: A “back-to-work” agenda amid an ongoing catastrophe

By Paul Bond, 9 July 2020

The limited financial assistance provided is based on the Johnson government’s claim that the pandemic is on the wane and that theatre, dance and music venues will soon be able to get back to relying on revenue from the paying public.

UK: Coronavirus exposes Leicester’s sweatshops and government hypocrisy

By Thomas Scripps, 8 July 2020

Government ministers have struck a pose of outrage at a situation they have ignored for years and want to replicate across the country.

UK meat processing factories involved in COVID-19 outbreak back up and running

By Tony Robson, 8 July 2020

Local authorities and the trade unions have worked to conceal the criminality of the corporations so as not interfere with the premature re-opening of the economy.

Spanish unions isolate Nissan workers’ struggle

By Alice Summers, 8 July 2020

As assaults on jobs and conditions mount across Spain, the unions are trying to suppress autoworkers’ opposition to the closure of Nissan’s Barcelona factory.

Bombing of Turkey’s Watiya base escalates Franco-Italian proxy war in Libya

By Alex Lantier, 8 July 2020

The decade-long civil war between rival imperialist-backed warlords triggered by the 2011 NATO war in Libya is spiraling out of control.

UK set to ban Huawei from 5G network

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2020

The key factor in the decision was the move by the Trump administration in May to ban the use of US software in Huawei’s operating systems.

“Literacy is a clean window onto the world ...”

100 years since formation of Soviet Extraordinary Commission for the Liquidation of Illiteracy

By Patrick O’Connor, 8 July 2020

The Soviet literacy campaign remains the largest and most successful in world history.

Nearly 200,000 jobs lost in the UK amid pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 7 July 2020

Workers have been laid off particularly heavily in the retail, travel, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.

Worker at German meat processing plant dismissed for sharing critical video

By Marianne Arens, 7 July 2020

The video shows a view into a canteen, where hundreds of employees sit and eat close to each other at the tables.

Germany’s Commerzbank plans to cut 11,000 jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 7 July 2020

In common with many other businesses, Commerzbank is using the coronavirus pandemic to implement preexisting plans to shed jobs and close branches.

Macron administration announces new French cabinet

By Will Morrow, 7 July 2020

Since Castex’s appointment as prime minister Friday, it is already clear the new cabinet will be charged with escalating the anti-worker policies of the previous one.

How corporations and government finance the German trade unions

By Ulrich Rippert and Marianne Arens, 6 July 2020

With the pandemic, which has led to the deepest international economic crisis since the 1930s, the role of unions as tools of the corporations is taking on a new dimension.

British government reimposes welfare benefits sanctions as pandemic continues and unemployment rockets

By Simon Whelan, 6 July 2020

By June, the number of job center claimants had risen by 126 percent since the start of the pandemic, to 2.8 million.

Naming new French prime minister, Macron coordinates austerity with unions

By Alex Lantier, 4 July 2020

Jean Castex is being brought in to coordinate with the unions the draconian austerity policies that Macron and the banks will impose amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spain participated in failed 2019 US coup in Venezuela

By Alejandro López, 4 July 2020

New information emerging about the coup exposes Spain’s ruling “left populist” party, Podemos, as a tool of imperialism’s bloody foreign policy in Latin America.

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

UK pubs reopen in “Super Saturday”: A criminal act

By Thomas Scripps, 4 July 2020

The inevitable deadly consequences of the Johnson government’s latest move will be fully revealed in the weeks and months to come.

Tories resurrect cynical “Clap for Carers” on 72nd anniversary of the NHS

By Rory Woods, 4 July 2020

Sunday’s event insults the memory of hundreds of health and social care workers who died of COVID-19 trying to save the lives of others.

German defence minister plans more effective organization of army’s far-right elite force

By Peter Schwarz, 4 July 2020

After new details came to light about the far-right terrorist networks inside the Special Forces Command, the German defence minister announced the restructuring of the army’s 1,600-strong elite unit.

Germany’s motto for the EU Council presidency: For militarism and war

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2020

The German government’s motto for the EU Council presidency is “Gemeinsam. Europa wieder stark machen” (“Together. Making Europe strong again”)—Berlin’s counterpart to Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

The vote on the constitutional amendments in Russia:

Kremlin pushes to massively strengthen power of the president

By Vladimir Volkov and Clara Weiss, 3 July 2020

On July 1, a seven-day long vote on constitutional changes first proposed by Russian president Vladimir Putin in January, was concluded.

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk as works council at German automaker Daimler announces layoffs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 3 July 2020

The works council is repeating word for word the arguments of company management and industry analysts calling for stepped up attacks on workers.

British government ramps up campaign against China

By Jean Shaoul, 3 July 2020

The Tories’ aim is to open another front in US imperialism’s economic, diplomatic, and military-strategic offensive that threatens military war against the world’s second largest economy.

Floods inundate Western Ukraine amid renewed spike in COVID-19 cases

By Jason Melanovski, 3 July 2020

Heavy rains and illegal logging are to blame for floods that have killed three in the country, which is rocked by a new surge in coronavirus cases.

UK government’s guidance on school reopening: Back to “normal” from September

By Tania Kent, 3 July 2020

There will be no social distancing, no personal protection for children or staff and no school closures if children or staff record positively for COVID-19.

Workers in Germany express their solidarity with striking Fiat Chrysler workers

By our correspondents, 2 July 2020

The strikes at two Detroit Fiat Chrysler plants in Jefferson North and Sterling Heights against intolerable health and safety conditions for production workers have met with a powerful response from workers in Germany.

Unite offers support for 10 percent job losses at British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair

By Laura Tiernan, 2 July 2020

The scale of the ongoing jobs massacre was underscored by EasyJet’s announcement Tuesday that 1,900 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff will be made redundant, with Airbus announcing 12,300 job cuts worldwide by Summer 2021, including 1,700 in the UK.

Germany: Verdi trade union sells out Galeria Kaufhof Karstadt workers

By Justus Leicht and Wolfgang Weber, 2 July 2020

Verdi brazenly claimed it would “ fight for every job and every store. ” In reality, the union and the general works council were involved in drawing up the closure plans.

Airbus cuts 15,000 jobs

Coronavirus crisis triggers mass layoffs, wage cuts across Europe

By Will Morrow, 1 July 2020

Having given massive state bailouts to the corporations, the ruling class is using the pandemic to effect a historic restructuring in class relations.

Lockdown in Leicester amid surge in infections throughout UK

By Robert Stevens, 1 July 2020

Outbreaks at food factories, garment plants and schools attest to the criminality of Johnson government as it ditches a national lockdown.

Ireland’s Greens agree to join austerity coalition government

By Dermot Quinn, 1 July 2020

Almost five months after Ireland’s February 8 general election, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have formed a coalition government after the Green Party voted to come on board.

Amazon workers in Germany strike against lack of coronavirus protection

By Marianne Arens, 30 June 2020

More than 2,000 Amazon workers are taking part in a 48-hour strike at six locations to protest the company’s refusal to provide adequate protection from the virus.

Merkel, Macron promote EU militarism amid growing conflicts with Washington

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 30 June 2020

The leaders of Germany and France called for stepped-up military spending and austerity to ensure Europe’s ability to wage war independently from Washington.

Germany: Police powers stepped up after “Stuttgart’s Night of Violence”

By Jan Ritter, 30 June 2020

The violence does not emanate from the population, but from the police against the population—especially against workers and young people.

Broader reopening of UK schools leads to spread of COVID-19 infections

By Tania Kent and Tim Pearce, 30 June 2020

Recent outbreaks in schools almost doubled to 44 in one week—16 more than were recorded at hospitals

“It’s eugenics by the back door”

UK disability campaigner Doug Paulley speaks on coronavirus pandemic

By Alice Summers, 30 June 2020

Doug has recently been involved in legal action opposing the use of “scoring” systems to deny ventilator treatment to the sick, disabled and elderly.

The poor in Germany have a higher risk of falling sick from COVID-19

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 30 June 2020

The poorest people in Germany, including the long-term unemployed and recipients of Hartz IV social welfare, have an 84 percent higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and requiring hospitalization.

Dutch government exposed by disastrous handling of COVID-19 pandemic

By Harm Zonderland and Parwini Zora, 30 June 2020

When the pandemic hit the Netherlands, the Dutch government adopted a reckless wait-and-see posture, even when it was clear that COVID-19 was potentially fatal.

Royal Mail workers in the UK face jobs massacre

By Paul Lee, 30 June 2020

Two thousand management job cuts will be followed by at least 20,000 redundancies from the remaining workforce.

Citing COVID-19 spread, EU denies US citizens entry to Europe

By Alex Lantier, 29 June 2020

The American ruling elite’s catastrophic handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is undermining Washington’s position overseas, with far-reaching implications.

Warnings of a second coronavirus wave in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 29 June 2020

Following an outbreak of coronavirus infections in the Tönnies meat factory in East Westphalia, the virus is spreading rapidly to other companies and regions.

Germany: Lufthansa and the bankruptcy of the unions

By Peter Schwarz, 29 June 2020

Lufthansa will receive €9 billion in government aid, which will be used to restructure the airline, costing thousands of jobs and worsening pay and conditions.

Polish president fails to secure absolute majority in first round of elections

By Clara Weiss, 29 June 2020

The result is universally seen as a defeat for Duda and PiS.

Sudanese asylum seeker shot dead in Glasgow

By Steve James, 29 June 2020

The tragedy is the consequence of the brutal treatment handed out to asylum seekers in the city and throughout the UK.

UK government ends lockdown: Feigned official outrage over beaches, raves, and football celebrations

By Laura Tiernan, 29 June 2020

Neither Johnson’s glib and deceitful comments, nor the filthy headlines of the press can conceal their role as the real authors of these dangerous scenes.

Onslaught on jobs and conditions at British Telecom

By Barry Mason and Robert Stevens, 29 June 2020

Slashing offices from 300 to 30 comes on top of proposals to cut BT's 100,000-strong workforce by around 13,000.

WHO warns of “very significant” coronavirus resurgence in Europe

By Will Morrow, 27 June 2020

The resurgence is driven by governments’ reopening policy, whose aim is the full resumption of corporate profit-making, regardless of the threat to workers.

British government suppressed daily pandemic death toll by thousands

By Simon Whelan, 27 June 2020

The government suppressed the extent of COVID-19 fatalities because its policies created the conditions for tens of thousands of needless deaths.

British Airways workers denounce company “offer” to slash pay and conditions

By John Newham and Laura Tiernan, 27 June 2020

BA workers must break free of the corporatist grip of the unions and fight for rank-and-file committees to organise joint action with airline workers across the globe.

UK government refuses support to unemployed migrant workers facing destitution during pandemic

By Harvey Singh, 27 June 2020

Although exact figures are difficult to obtain, it is estimated that up to 250,000 children could directly be threatened with poverty due to the “no recourse to public funds” status of their parents.

UK Labour leader Keir Starmer uses bogus anti-Semitism accusation to sack Rebecca Long-Bailey

By Robert Stevens, 27 June 2020

The move demonstrates that no criticisms of the Israeli government will be allowed in the Labour Party and that Starmer will deal decisively with what remains of the Corbynites.

YDSA develops ties with SYRIZA youth, Greek party of austerity and police repression

By Sam Wayne, 27 June 2020

Members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America have published a joint statement with the youth section of SYRIZA, the “Coalition of the Radical Left.”

The Salisbury Poisonings: Skripal drama framed as anti-Russian propaganda

By Thomas Scripps, 27 June 2020

The BBC’s three-part The Salisbury Poisonings uses drama as state propaganda and is designed to reignite the Skripal affair that dominated UK politics in 2018.

Wirecard: The German economy sinks into criminality

By Peter Schwarz, 26 June 2020

The company CEO was arrested in connection with the disappearance of 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion).

Five cruise ships detained by UK revealing atrocious conditions of seafarers

By Paul Bond, 26 June 2020

Globally there have been numerous suicides reported among crew members stranded at sea.

Parliamentary report exposes widespread fire-safety failings three years on from Grenfell Tower inferno

By Alice Summers, 26 June 2020

Of the 2,000 high-rise buildings still coated in highly flammable materials, 300 are clad with the Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) panels used on Grenfell Tower.

Thousands of Iranian sugarcane workers strike for second week; clothing workers’ stoppage in Lethoso; Zimbabwe nurses and doctors protests and strike

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 June 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

US indictment of Assange based on testimony of FBI assets, convicted child molester

By Oscar Grenfell, 25 June 2020

The indictment paints a picture of US operatives pouring through decade-old tabloid gossip and dredging up the most unsavoury creatures of their own intelligence agencies to fling mud at Assange.

Beset by crisis, Kremlin holds “victory parade”

By Clara Weiss, 25 June 2020

The parade and the reopening of the economy have been timed to precede by one week the national referendum on constitutional changes proposed by Putin earlier this year.

Johnson announces end of UK’s lockdown

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2020

The bulk of the UK economy, barring “close proximity” venues such as nightclubs, soft-play areas, indoor gyms, swimming pools and spas, will reopen July 4. All schools will reopen in September.

London bus drivers’ lives threatened by union collusion on inadequate COVID-19 measures

By Laura Tiernan, 25 June 2020

The Unite union is playing a crucial role for the government and Transport for London in policing the back-to-work drive and concealing the immense dangers facing bus and transport workers.

Unite union facilitates cover-up of COVID-19 outbreak in UK meat processing plants

By Tony Robson, 25 June 2020

Meat processing factories across the world have become a breeding ground for the virus, and working in them is a potential death sentence.

Following “night of violence” in Stuttgart

German media and politicians stoke massive campaign for a police state

By Jan Ritter and Johannes Stern, 25 June 2020

The campaign is aimed at establishing an authoritarian state in which even journalistic and satirical criticisms of the police are prohibited.

New COVID-19 outbreaks in Germany and Berlin’s inhumane quarantine conditions

By Lisa Lachlan, 25 June 2020

Since June 13, 369 households, each containing one to 10 people, have been quarantined as a result of COVID-19 infections in one of Berlin’s poorest districts.

The coronavirus crisis, the government’s aid package and the attempt to strangle German art

By Verena Nees, 25 June 2020

On closer inspection, the German government’s aid package proves to be a sham and a step towards neutering and strangling a diverse cultural landscape.

More than 1,500 COVID-19 infections at pork processing plant in Germany

By Marianne Arens and Peter Schwarz, 24 June 2020

The Tönnies Group, Germany’s largest meat processing firm, has a long record of putting profits before the health and safety of its workforce.

Boris Johnson reinforces imperialist agenda of Britain’s overseas aid

By Jean Shaoul, 24 June 2020

The Department for International Development, which disperses Britain’s £15.2 billion aid budget, is to be subsumed under the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Johnson used pandemic to step up privatisation of UK public sector

By Margot Miller, 24 June 2020

The corporate raid underscores the cynicism of government ministers clapping frontline workers and hailing NHS workers as “heroes.”

All schools in England to open in September

By Tom Pearce, 24 June 2020

The government’s decision to return to the full opening of schools has been taken without any systematic review of the impact of the wider reopening of the economy.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the global plight of refugees and migrant workers

By Jordan Shilton, 24 June 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to tear through the global population, the disease is having an especially devastating impact on the tens of millions of displaced people throughout the world.

Reading terror suspect fought in US-British proxy war to overthrow Libya’s Gaddafi

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2020

Saadallah and his family have connections to the British-based group of Libyans who were opposed to the rule of the country’s then-leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

UK students in precarious situation during the pandemic

By Ioan Petrescu, 23 June 2020

An online petition demanding the reimbursement of all this year’s fee due to the pandemic has gathered 345,731 signatures as of the time of writing. Another one, that only asks for refunds for the third semester, has 109,282 signatures.

Germany seeks to tighten European asylum law

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 23 June 2020

The core elements are the internment of refugees at the EU’s external borders and the implementation of fast-track asylum procedures.

The scandal surrounding German MP Philipp Amthor: What is Augustus Intelligence?

By Peter Schwarz, 23 June 2020

The question arises whether Augustus Intelligence is a genuine commercial enterprise or rather a covert intelligence service operation.

Germany: Trial begins in murder of CDU politician Walter Lübcke

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 22 June 2020

The 46-year-old neo-Nazi Stephan Ernst is accused of having shot Kassel District President Walter Lübcke on his terrace on the night of June 2, 2019.